Bulgaria formally throws out online piracy pact

Bulgaria's government formally decided Wednesday to end all consultation and ratification procedures on the controversial ACTA pact against online piracy and counterfeiting, its press office said.

"With today's decision the government ends definitively the procedure for ratifying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement," it said.

Bulgaria will also refrain from joining a European Commission request to the European Court of Justice for a legal opinion on ACTA, the government added.

Bulgaria was among 22 EU member states to sign the agreement in January aimed at combatting counterfeiting in general and ending online piracy.

But the government froze its ratification process in mid-February, following street rallies and widespread public fears that it may curtail online freedoms by attacking illegal downloading and Internet file-sharing.

The European parliament also threw out the agreement last week, quashing any EU ratification and possibly killing it for good.

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